Loser Takes All: The Story of Bud Adams, Bad Football, and Big Business

Ed Fowler, Author Longstreet Press $21 (208p) ISBN 978-1-56352-432-5
Houston Chronicle columnist Fowler, who covered the Oilers for 17 seasons, has written a forthright account of a pro football team whose ineptitude is a matter of public record. He charges the team and its management with ""turmoil, intrigue, backstabbing, and buffoonery."" Owner Bud Adams began his business career with a grubstake from his father, head of Phillips 66 petroleum, and later was a founder of the American Football League, of which his Oilers were the champs in 1960 and 1961. The AFL and the NFL played their first merged season in 1970, and for 27 years the Houston team has never played in the Super Bowl despite having one of the strongest rosters. But front-office interference, inferior coaching and Adams's penny-pinching spelled trouble, charges Fowler, which came to a head when the owner demanded a new stadium as the price of staying put. Failing to get it and ""snarling like a baboon,"" he moved the team to Nashville, where it is playing its initial season this fall. This is not the account of a franchise warts and all, but of one that is all warts, at least according to Fowler. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
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